Cluttered garage

People will pay for help removing their clutter.

Many people have so much “stuff” cluttering up their houses, basements, and garages that they will pay for help to get rid of it.  You can help homeowners clear out all their unwanted clutter, old appliances, dangerous chemicals, and more by taking it to the dump for them.

The Good

This is a pretty simple job.  If you have a truck and a strong back, customers will pay for your help disposing of their unwanted junk.

The Bad

You do need to have some knowledge about local ordinances and regulations.  People may want you to remove restricted items such as tires, solvents, or other chemicals, so you need to know where and when you can take these chemicals to dispose of them properly.

Skills required

You’ll have to do some heavy lifting for this job, so make sure you’ve got a good back and can handle it.  And you need to know the regulations in your area about disposing of certain restricted or bulky items.  Once you learn the regulations you’ll have no problem disposing stuff.

Equipment / Tools required

You need a truck or a van.  You probably don’t need a huge truck for most jobs, and when you do you can rent one and charge the customer for it.  A decent-sized pickup truck should be able to carry appliances and whatever else you might need to take.

In addition to transportation, you may want to buy some items that will help you with heavy lifting, such as a weight belt, dolly, and heavy-duty boots.  And you’ll want to have some rope or tie down straps to keep big stuff in place in your vehicle.


You can run this business from your home and personal vehicle.

Startup costs

If you already have a truck or van, you’re in good shape.  If not, you’ll need to buy one.  Shop around and get the best deal you can on a used vehicle.  Don’t bother buying a brand new vehicle since you’ll just be hauling junk in it anyway.

You’ll also have to spend time and money advertising your business.  (See “How to start” below.)

Legal / Insurance issues

Depending on what you will be transporting, you may need a commercial license or special insurance on your vehicle.  Again, you have to learn regulations in your area.  Call your local waste management facility for more information about this.

How to start

Advertise your business and get your name out there.  Place ads in the yellow pages, newspapers, and online.  Post fliers at community centers.  Get a professional sign to put on your vehicle.  Carry business cards with you.  Ask friends and family to spread the word.

Potential clients

There are many different potential clients, and you should target all of them with your advertising.

  • People with cluttered houses who don’t have time to clean
  • Elderly or disabled people who can’t move old appliances or other large objects
  • People who have old paint, insecticides, solvents, and other chemicals that they don’t know how to dispose of properly
  • People whose property has been damaged by a disaster (such as a flood or fire) and need help removing the damaged items
  • Banks that own foreclosed or abandoned houses that need to have furniture and junk cleaned out
  • Construction sites
  • Businesses and large companies


You can bill your services by the hour or provide an up-front estimate based on the amount of junk to be removed.  You should also charge a mileage rate to and from the dump that includes part of the cost of vehicle maintenance.  If there are any disposal fees for the items you remove, such as large appliances or hazardous chemicals, you can bill the customer for those fees.

Further reading